So Many Excuses

revised on 2020-12-30

Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw; 9th June 1962

[Most Buddhists have so many excuses regarding the practice (i.e., bhāvanā). The followers of Islam Faith are quite inspiring in regard to their practice. This is a very important point we need to learn from them. It is true that the four Noble Truths or the Middle way is not an easy path like prayers and vows. This was also one of the reasons for the decline and complete disappearance of Buddhism in India, because instead of following Dharma and Vinaya, some Buddhists were keen to study and think, becoming Buddhist philosophers. Another important point was they postulated new ideas and views into the teaching and became popular Buddhism to compete with popular Hinduism. Most Buddhists will lose the path or way if they do not have the knowledge of Pāḷi Nikāyas and maintaining its pure form with the practice and it might disappear quickly in the future. Sayadaw’s following talk was good for contemplation in this case.]

We had missed with those two good Noble Truths of Nirodha Sacca and Magga Sacca (i.e., the cessation of dukkha and the way to cessation of dukkha) in the whole round of existence (saṃsāra). It had never been a good living of existence, getting an existence without sorrow and death. The Noble Path is the way free from fear, fright and crying with grief. The reason the Buddha has to fulfill many kinds of perfection in different ways in past lives were for searching the Noble Path. Only we need to follow behind the way which he had found.

It’s not necessary for you to give many excuses. Don’t be too late for it, because it could be disappeared. (This warning reflected the complete disappearance of Buddhism in India. With many new doctrines and views, Buddhists became confused and did not know what the Buddha really taught.) We receive the path with ease that don’t postpone it for tomorrow or the day after tomorrow, death could overcome you. It can happen to anything, because it’s anatta khandha. People who look forward to the future are really quite stupid. For the future is uncertain, the present is known, and the past is a memory.

(Here Sayadaw explained the four meanings of magga sacca and then gave instruction for the practice.)

Watching and observing the khandha and let us see what it will tell us. What does the khandha have by itself? Sabbe saṅkhāra anicca—all conditioned phenomena are impermanent. This conditioned khandha is impermanent. It’s conditioning by other with arising and passing away. It’s important to see its arising here and passing away here. Where does it come from? Where has it gone after passing away? Don’t ask this way. It comes from not a seeing place and arises here. It arises here from causes. After passing away, it doesn’t go anywhere. It disappears here. You have to watch and observe its arising here and disappearing here. This is the way of vipassanā. It was like a lightning in the sky. This was from the Udāna Pāli—Exclamations of the Buddha. For example, if you take a shower with cold water, every time you pour the water, the warmth disappears and the coldness is arisen.

The khandha shape and form will disappear if power of samādhi is mature, and you only see the arising and vanishing. You will only see the disappearance of ultimate phenomena (paramattha dhamma). You have to follow wherever it arises on the whole body (i.e., head, body, hands, etc.). In the Saṃyutta Nikāya, the Buddha said that if you looked for Nibbāna, you would find it in the two armed-length body. (The Buddha to Rohitassa devaputta, SN. 2.26 Rohitassasuttaṃ). It only has the arising dukkha and disappearing dukkha in the khandha. Form, feeling, etc. are in names only. You get the path factors if discerning of impermanence. You only get it by developing the path factors and not by praying and asking. (Later Buddhists were/are doing a lot of praying and asking from the Buddha and Buddhism becomes only Faith religion and no wisdom at all. Therefore, Sayadawji in some of his talks referred to some disciples as like beggars.)

The developed magga (path factors) is cutting off the basic root of craving.

revised on 2020-12-30

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